Design Firm Conceptualizes The 24-Hour Nightclub Of The Future
Merging past nightclub sensibility with the innovation of today, global architecture firm OMA has conceptualized the modern Ministry of Sound
In 2015, influential London night club turned multimedia brand Ministry of Sound enlisted global architecture firm OMA to design a concept for what a 21st-century nightlife space could be. Their goals were to create a space that could serve as a space for entertainment and nightlife, but also be built with all day functionality and safety in mind.
OMA first set out to understand the history of nightclub culture and design by interviewing DJs, venue owners and club owners to understand how nightlife has evolved internationally over time. With the information gathered, the OMA team constructed a loose timeline of club architecture trends.
In the 1960s, Italian architects such as Superstudio and Gruppo 9999 developed experimental spaces that were by today’s standards quite theatrical. But by the 1970s, architects began focusing more on scale than theatrics, producing cultural meccas such as New York’s Studio 54.
This continued until the 90s, when allocating funds towards getting premiere DJs became the focus versus building theatrical. Following this, an onslaught of unofficial venues and warehouses gave way to a new, and in many cases, unregulated club culture. OMA argues there’s been little architectural innovation in nightclubs since.
Using this information, OMA built its concept for Ministry of Sound by mixing the sensibility of past nightclub architecture with the technology of today. “Part of the ambition was to give a range of experiences, almost a catalog of the most interesting spaces we found in our research of nightclubs throughout time,” explained Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, an architect and partner at OMA to Fast Code.
Ministry of Sound is a club, a record label and a retailer, so a space that solved how to provide varying experiences at all hours of the day was a primary focus. As such, the building itself is designed to be kinetic, able to morph and contort throughout the day and night.
“We tried to create a collage of different spaces, each with a different attitude to recreate the richness clubs used to have,” Laparelli says. “The building is a machine to transform the space. We’re not responding to one trend, but to multiple trends. It avoids association to a singular identity and has multiple identities.”
Currently, real world construction plans for the structure are on hold. However, the concept alone is a striking marker for where the world of nightlife could go, as brands grow to fill multiple spaces in the entertainment market and consumers further crave new and untapped experiences.
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